Trajectory Of Russian Missile Strikes: Upward



Quite some time ago I gave up trying to present a continuing chronicle of events in the war in Ukraine. Following the shambles of the Ukraine/NATO “counteroffensive” the Russian forces have shifted to an “active defense” and now, increasingly, to what looks like the beginning of a real offensive. Western media is full of warnings of a looming Ukrainian “collapse”, as the Russians grind forward against failing Ukrainian forces.

In the last several days Russia has launched unprecedentedly massive missile strikes on targets in Ukraine. A significant aspect of these attacks has been the heavy use of hypersonic missiles, which Ukraine is now openly admitting that it can’t defend against. The working assumption has to be that these attacks are preparatory to upcoming Russian moves on the ground. This is especially the case with the attacks on Ukrainian rear support targets of all sorts, including transport and power infrastructure, but also including NATO personnel and command centers.

Last night’s attacks—again, with the very heavy use of large numbers of hypersonic missiles—focused on the area around the West Ukrainian city of Stryi, about 40 miles south of Lviv. There are two aspects to the focus on Stryi and its environs. Scott Ritter sketches the F-16 aspect. The runway at the military airfield near Stryi has been lengthened to 8000 ft., which—while the theoretical distance may be as short as 6000 using landing hooks—is probably the real practical length for loaded F-16s.

Scott Ritter @RealScottRitter

Tonight’s attacks by Russia on Stryi, south of Lvov, are most likely related to the deployment of F-16 fighters. The Stryi airfield has been extensively upgraded recently to accommodate the F-16 and related logistics., and the nearby rail-yard provides the most efficient means of transportation from Poland. The decision by Russia to carry out such a massive strike on one location indicates that Russian intelligence had very specific information regarding the arrival of F-16 fighters and associated equipment/infrastructure. Anyone who thought the F-16 would be a game changer for Ukraine might want to rethink their position.

11:41 PM · Mar 23, 2024

The other aspect is part military and part economic.

Fennec_Radar @RadarFennec

Near Stryi at 49.36047228668071, 23.90450568681524 is the Bilche-Volytsko-Uherske underground gas storage. The largest gas storage facility in Europe with a capacity of 17.05 bcm And Ukraine removed any reason for Russia to see said facility functional recently.


Big fire near Stryi in the Lvov region. Right next to the town is the Strys’kyy Aerodrom, an airfield that happens to have an 8000 foot runway. Which just so happens to be the requirement for the F-16.

5:15 AM · Mar 24, 2024

Geroman presents a summary of the strikes in the Stryi area, but for our purposes this excerpt is the important part:

Based on the tactics of the Russian Armed Forces and the flight routes of cruise missiles, the main target of today’s attack was a military infrastructure facility near the city of Stryi, Lviv region, which is of great strategic importance both for the region and for Ukraine as a whole.

 At least 20 explosions were heard in the vicinity of the Stryisky district. In addition, the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out a control strike on the facility with Kinzhal missiles.

 The facility is one of the largest and most important gas exchange points not only in the region, but throughout Ukraine. It is located at the crossroads of the main pipelines and ensures the pumping and distribution of gas in various directions. It plays a key role in providing the population and industrial enterprises with gas, and its work is closely related to the energy security of the region.

In addition, the facility is one of the key links in the gas supply system to enemy military facilities. It supplies liquefied natural gas, which is used to power military bunkers, warehouses, command posts and other facilities.

In short, this facility had great strategic importance. But NATO nations were also using the facility—the largest of its kind in Europe—to store natural gas. Woops! European atural gas shortage incoming. Well, this is what they asked for.

Dana has a very detailed summary on a related topic—the Ukrainian missile attack on Crimea the other night. I won’t cover that. Ukrainian sources made a big deal of this, with claims of great successes. It appears that the operation was basically a flop which expended relatively large numbers of hard to replace NATO missiles. One point should be made, however. There has been considerable speculation that F-16s from Romania were used. Dana’s summary tends to indicate that that wasn’t the case. My understanding from what I’ve read is that F-16s are not able to launch the missiles that are known to have been employed.

In the meantime, much like Russian ground operations, the Russian air offensive is continuing and, possibly, escalating even more:

Read more

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments